2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    May 30, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachlelor of Arts/Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, BA/MS

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In the B.A./M.S. program, Clark Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BCMB) majors have an opportunity to apply their classroom learning to the research laboratory - and obtain an M.S. degree by intensive engagement in research for two years, one as a senior and one as a graduate student. This will prepare students for further graduate study in a Ph.D. program, or for medical/veterinary/dental school. The program begins in the undergraduate’s junior year, when the student identifies a professor whose research in biochemistry or molecular biology interests them (research projects can include those under the direction of approved qualified mentors at the UMass Medical Center or other research centers in Worcester). Although research towards the M.S. can begin as early as the freshman year, it normally starts in the summer after the junior year, or in the fall semester of the senior year. The research project continues throughout the senior year (while finishing up B.A. course requirements), the following summer, and for a further fifth year. The goal is to generate publishable research and to be well prepared for a career in biochemistry or molecular biology.

Entry into the program

During their junior year, students contact a faculty member whose research interests mesh with their own (descriptions of Clark BCMB program faculty research interests are available on the web). With the consent of the faculty member, the student then applies to the program by completing the online application no later than May 1 of the junior year
apply to program. During the senior year, the student must take at least one credit of directed research (or honors research) each semester. The program is open only to Clark BCMB majors.

Program of study


All courses required for the B.A. must be completed by the end of the senior year. At any stage of their B.A. degree or during the fifth year, two 200- or 300-level courses (not including research) that are in addition to those required by the major (or any minor) must be completed. During the fifth year the student is enrolled in eight 300-level courses, typically fulfilled by some advanced courses in BCMB but with at least six course credits in research. All courses must be completed with at least a B- grade.


During the senior year, the summer following it, and the entire fifth year, the student will pursue a research project. Research must begin no later than the fall semester of the senior year and the undergraduate and graduate research projects must be with the same faculty member. Students prepare a written thesis based on their original research, which must be defended during an oral presentation. The defense normally occurs during the late spring or early summer at the end of the fifth year.

Program advisor

Denis Larochelle, Accelerated B.A./M.S. Advisor
Lasry Center for Bioscience, Room 334
(508) 793-7631


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